Trout Unlimited – March 8, 2018 Public Statement

Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Position on Proposed Nestle Bottling Plant

March 8, 2018

Background:

The Nestle Company is in negotiations with Spring Township Water Authority (STWA) to purchase about 300 gpm (equivalent to 0.66 cfs, 431,490 gpd, or 157.7 million gallons per year) of water to bottle and sell under the Deer Park brand. The water will be extracted from STWA wells in the vicinity of Logan Branch and be piped to a bottling facility located in Spring or Benner townships.   Nestle has indicated a desire to begin operating the bottling plant in 2020.

Position:

The Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited (SCCTU) is concerned about potential negative consequences on the quantity and quality of water in Spring Creek resulting from this project. The chapter plans to monitor the progress of the project and advocate for Spring Creek’s trout and other aquatic biota, which otherwise would not have a voice in the process.

Additional thoughts:

STWA will pump the water from wells which are fed from the ground water system in the vicinity of Logan Branch. This same ground water system replenishes Logan Branch and Spring Creek; therefore, effectively the water Nestle will be bottling is coming out of Spring Creek.

The ground water system in the region is recharged primarily by precipitation. In addition, Penn State’s spray irrigation system as well as a comparatively small amount of beneficial reuse water from the University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) supplements groundwater recharge. Groundwater reserves are used in this area to supply drinking water and provide water for commercial activity. They can be adversely impacted by drought, contaminated storm runoff, and other pollution. Further, the region is growing, placing ever increasing stresses on the system.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a regional water budget, which could be used to assess the impact of such a significant consumptive use as the proposed Nestle withdrawal. SCCTU would like to work with regional partners to help develop an integrated water management plan that considers the health of Spring Creek watershed for aquatic life in equal weight with needs of regional population growth and economic development.

SCCTU will advocate for a transparent and deliberate project approval process, which seeks community engagement and takes the time necessary to weigh alternatives, consider science, and arrive at the best solution for Spring Creek.

Finally, SCCTU plans to participate in the regulatory approval process and advocate on behalf of Spring Creek’s aquatic resources.

There are a number of upcoming meetings for the public to gain more information on this issue and offer public comment. Please note: Each meeting is being sponsored by a different group.

Nestle public information session

Sponsored by Nestle

When:  Monday, March 12, 6:30-8:30 pm

Where: Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI), 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap

Nestle Waters regional Natural Resource Manager Eric Andreus will give a short presentation about the proposed factory located in Spring or Benner townships. A panel of experts will also be available to answer questions. Community members can submit questions by filling out a card before the session, by emailing NWNA.Pennsylvania@outlook.com or calling 1-800-450-7599.

Public Forum: Say No to Nestle

Sponsored by the Sierra Club Moshannon Group and Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition

When:  Wednesday, March 14, 6:30-9:00 pm

Where: Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI), 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap

Event information from the sponsor: Nestle wants to extract over 400,000 gallons per day of groundwater from Spring Creek Watershed and build a plastic water bottling plant in either Spring or Benner Township. That’s 158 million gallons per year. Concerned citizens have organized a public forum about the issues. The Pennsylvania representative from Food and Water Watch will be at this forum.

Water Use Forum

Sponsored by Spring Creek Watershed Commission

When:  Wednesday, April 18, 7:00-9:00pm

Where: Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI), 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap

A water use forum will be hosted by Lara Fowler from Penn State Law. The forum is at the invitation of the Spring Creek Watershed Commission. Lara teaches an environmental mediation course at Penn State and will be inviting in all interested stake holders to discuss factual realities and concerns around water uses and seek to establish a record of common ground with her 18 students from her class. Denny Hameister who chaired the commission may be able to offer additional insight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.